Fontana Car Accident Lawyer

Fontana Car Accident Lawyer

Fontana Car Accident Lawyer

Fontana Car Accident Attorney

Being in a car accident is a scary experience, and there is often significant damage left in the aftermath. Sadly, the impact often extends beyond just the vehicles and can involve injuries to the people involved in the accident. The costs created by these injuries, including medical bills and the psychological impact, are the responsibility of those who caused the accident. A Fontana car accident lawyer can help you seek compensation for that.

Our team at Belgum, Fry & Van Allen has successfully helped many who have suffered car accident injuries get fair restitution for what they have suffered. We understand the unique challenges of investigating a car accident and identifying the liable parties. Whether a case can be resolved through a settlement or requires litigation to seek a resolution, our clients can count on a team dedicated to getting them what they deserve.

Who May Be Liable in a Car Accident Claim

Car accidents can sometimes be more complex than it might seem initially. While it is often the case that another driver in the accident is at fault, there are times when it may be that other parties are liable, at least in part, if not entirely. It is important that your lawyer examines the circumstances of the car accident to identify who can be demonstrated to have caused the accident. Some potentially liable parties include:

  • Another Driver in the Collision. In most car accidents, another driver is to blame for the accident. Typically, this is the result of speeding, reckless driving, another violation of a traffic law, or some other form of driver error.
  • Another Driver Not in the Collision. Sometimes, an accident is the result of a driver taking action to avoid someone else on the road who is behaving recklessly.
  • A Driver’s Employer. There are many vehicles on the road these days that are participating in commercial activity. When these cars are involved in an accident, that means that the driver’s employer could be held liable. This could be based on a policy issue, such as unreasonable expectations on delivery times, which could encourage a driver to behave more recklessly on the road.
  • Government Agencies. Most roads, signage, and traffic lights are the responsibility of government agencies meant to oversee them. However, some accidents are caused by unclear signage, malfunctioning traffic lights, poorly maintained roads, and other problems. When this happens, it may be that the victims of an accident can hold the government agency liable for their injuries.
  • Car or Parts Manufacturers. There are some accidents that result from the failure of the car based on faulty manufacturing or a defective part. In these situations, it may be that the manufacturer of the part or the car as a whole could be liable for the accident.
  • A Maintenance Provider. Some accidents are the result of improper installation of a part or some kind of issue with maintenance not being performed properly. It is possible that this could lead to liability for the maintenance provider.

Proving Liability in a Car Accident

Car accident claims are adjudicated through California’s personal injury laws. This requires being able to demonstrate that the party you are seeking compensation from is at fault for the accident and related injuries. In car accidents, it can sometimes be difficult to identify who was to blame for the accident, but it will be necessary to prove a few different elements in order to collect compensation.

Duty of Care

A duty of care is the idea that someone has some level of responsibility to behave in a way that is careful not to put others around them at any unnecessary risk. Generally, this means taking the precautions that a reasonable person would with regard to avoiding putting others into potential danger. This is a relatively well-understood concept when operating vehicles because of the inherent dangers that they pose.

Breach of Duty

When someone fails to meet the duty of care that is required of them in a given situation, it is said to be a breach of duty. The way a breach of duty looks in a car accident is different depending on who the defendant is. For another driver, it may be the result of a failure to follow the rules of the road and not practicing safe driving. If the government is the defendant, it could mean showing that the roads were not properly managed.

It is the responsibility of the plaintiff and their lawyer to show that the defendant failed to meet the expectations of what would have been a reasonable level of precautions. Specifically, this will mean needing to prove what actions the defendant took. A number of different kinds of evidence can be helpful in proving this, including the police report, any video or pictures, and eye-witness testimony.

Cause of Injury

The last element that will need to be established to be able to collect compensation is that the breach on the part of the defendant was the cause of the injuries suffered by the plaintiff. In the case of an accident, this means showing that the breach led to the accident and that the accident was the cause of the injuries. This is not always as straightforward as it may seem.

There are some circumstances where a driver may breach their duty, but it is not necessarily the cause of an accident. For instance, if one driver is driving 50 mph through an intersection where the speed limit is 45 mph, that breach is not the cause of an accident if another driver runs a red light and hits them as they are crossing the intersection.

Sometimes, there could be a need to bring in someone who analyzes accidents professionally to describe how a particular breach was the cause of the accident.

It is also important to establish that the car accident was the cause of the injuries that the plaintiff suffered. There are times when some people have attempted to present pre-existing injuries as related to the accident. It is also possible that someone could try to claim an injury later sustained in a separate incident as being caused by the car accident.


Once it can be shown that your injuries are the result of a car accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the opportunity to collect compensation from them for the costs that are directly caused by those injuries. Your team will need to be able to prove that connection, which is why it is helpful to keep good documentation of your injuries and the costs.

What a Car Accident Claim Lawyer Does

A car accident claim lawyer in Fontana, California is responsible for representing you and seeking compensation for the injuries that you suffered as a result of the car accident. This will often be a process that begins with a thorough investigation of the accident so that they understand who could be liable and gather evidence to help make that case if necessary.

Often, before a claim goes to court, there will be an attempt to resolve the situation through a negotiated settlement. There are such clear advantages to both sides in avoiding going to court that the overwhelming majority of claims are settled this way. It can often be a quicker process and avoid the inherent risk of a trial.

It is important to have an experienced lawyer negotiating for you, as this encourages the other side to take the situation more seriously, knowing that a civil claim is possible if the situation is not resolved.

If the situation cannot be resolved through negotiating a settlement, then it may be that litigation is the only path to getting fair compensation. If that is what is necessary, your lawyer will represent you before the court. They will be responsible for proving the negligence of the defendant and the costs for which you are seeking compensation.

What to Do After a Car Accident

If you have been in a car accident, the most important thing is to seek medical attention for any injuries. Paramedics at the scene are trained to identify anything traumatic, but even if you have been cleared by them, it is helpful to get a full medical examination to be certain that there wasn’t anything that they missed. These records can be helpful in seeking later compensation.

Be careful when discussing the accident as well, as you do not want to accidentally say something that might be argued as you accepting some blame for the accident. In particular, use caution when speaking with anyone from any insurance agency, as they will be listening closely for anything that they can use.

It is critical that you contact a lawyer, like those at Belgum, Fry & Van Allen, as soon as you can after the accident. We can help you understand the next steps to take and identify some practices to protect your chance at compensation.


Q: How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Civil Claim in Fontana?

A: How long you have to file a car accident civil claim in Fontana will typically be two years under the statute of limitations for California’s personal injury law. However, there can be some exceptions to that rule depending on the particular situation. For instance, if the government is liable because of a failure to properly maintain the roads, the timeline is shorter. However, there are other situations that could lead to lengthening the deadline. Your lawyer can explain what deadlines are relevant to your case.

Q: What Is Compensated Through Economic Damages for a Car Accident?

A: What will be compensated through economic damages are those costs that have a direct financial element to them. Often, medical bills, both present and future, are one of the most significant components of economic damages. Lost wages from missing work are also a part of these damages, including lost earning capacity if you cannot return to work at the same level as before. Additionally, the damage to a vehicle is also compensated through economic damages.

Q: What Is Compensated Through Non-Economic Damages in a Car Accident Claim?

A: What is compensated through non-economic damages are those costs that lack a clear financial aspect, usually because they cannot be addressed directly through financial means. This generally means that the costs covered under these damages are more emotional and psychological in nature. It often includes issues like pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment in life.

Q: Are Punitive Damages Awarded in a Car Accident Claim?

A: Punitive damages are rarely awarded in most car accident claims. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish and deter behavior that is egregious or malicious in some form. The overwhelming majority of car accidents are the result of simple mistakes and errors and not because of any ill-intentions on the part of the liable party.

If you are wondering about punitive damages being a possibility in your car accident claim, your lawyer will be able to give you some sense of whether or not they are possible.

If You Have Been the Victim of a Car Accident, Contact Belgum, Fry & Van Allen for Help

If you have been in a car accident, you know all the costs that can be involved. The damage to the vehicle can be significant. If the injuries are serious, and sometimes when they aren’t, the medical bills are substantial, possibly made more daunting because of missed work as a result of the injuries. You deserve compensation for these issues and the psychological costs from those parties who caused the accident. At Belgum, Fry & Van Allen, we may be able to help you get that compensation.

Our experienced team understands the many nuances involved in a car accident. We know how to identify the liable parties and make the case against them in litigation. However, we will do what we can to secure fair compensation for our clients before it comes to that. If you have been in a car accident and are facing significant costs as a result, contact our offices to discuss your options and what we may be able to do for you.

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